A Fox Warrior
(Not Done Yet)
Part of the Fox and Flame
Book 1= A Fox Warrior
Book 2= Cat of the Foxes
Book 3= Fox and Flame
Bramblestar: dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes
Lionblaze: golden tabby tom with amber eyes
Jayfeather: gray tabby tom with blind blue eyes
Crowfeather: dark gray tom
Sorreltail: tortoiseshell and white she-cat with amber eyes
Spiderleg: long-limbed black tom with brown underbelly with amber eyes
Birchfall: light brown tabby tom
Whitewing: white she-cat with green eyes
Berrynose: cream colored tom
Hazeltail: small gray and white she-cat
Mousewhisker: gray and white tom
Poppyfrost: tortoiseshell she-cat
Icecloud: white she-cat
Foxleap: reddish tabby tom
Toadstep: black and white tom
Rosepetal: dark cream she-cat
Blossomfall: tortoiseshell and white she-cat
Bumblestripe: pale gray tom with black stripes
Molepelt: brown and cream tom
Lilyflower: dark tabby she-cat with white patches
Seedstep: pale ginger she-cat
Amberpaw: gray she-cat with white paws, muzzle, and right ear with amber eyes
Dewpaw: gray tom with amber eyes
Snowpaw: white tom with amber eyes
Briarlight: dark brown she-cat with half of spine immobilized
Rushpaw: ginger tom with green eyes (son of Firestar and Sandstorm)
Duskpaw: light ginger she-cat with green eyes (daughter of Firestar and Sandstorm)
Blackpaw: spikey black tom with a red tail tip (son of Firestar and Sandstorm)
Cinderheart: gray tabby she-cat (mother of Lionblaze's kits, Hollykit: black she-kit with amber eyes, Honeykit: golden tabby she-kit with blue eyes, Leopardkit: golden she-kit with faint gray flecks and blue eyes, and Sunkit: gray she-kit with golden spots and amber eyes)
Squirrelflight: dark ginger she-cat with green eyes (mother of Bramblestar's kits, Tigerkit: ginger tabby-tom with green eyes and Morningkit: golden she-kit with amber eyes)
Leafpool: light brown tabby she-cat with amber eyes (mother of Crowfeather's kits, Ravenkit: black tom with blue eyes, Stormkit: light gray she-kit with blue eyes, and Sorrelkit: light brown she-cat with amber eyes)
Cherryleaf: ginger she-cat (mother of Mousewhisker's kits, Flamekit: dark ginger she-kit with amber eyes and Goldenkit: dark cream colored tom with amber eyes)
Dovewing: pale gray she-cat with blue eyes (mother of Bumblestripe's kits, Scorchkit: gray tabby tom with amber eyes, Rainkit: light gray she-kit with blue eyes, and Ashkit: gray she-cat with green eyes)
Ivypool: silver and white tabby she-cat with blue eyes (expecting Foxleap's kits)
Graystripe: long-haired gray tom
Dustpelt: dark brown tabby tom
Sandstorm: pale ginger she-cat with green eyes
Brackenfur: golden brown tabby tom
Thornclaw: golden brown tabby tom
Cloudtail: long-haired white tom with blue eyes
Brightheart: white she-cat with ginger patches and a missing eye
Ivypool and Foxleap stared at their kits, moonlight dappling their fur.
"They're beautiful," Foxleap mewed, his eyes sparkling. Ivypool gazed at him warmly and twined her tail with his.
"What should we name them?" she asked quietly, turning her gaze to her sleeping kits as the first snowflakes of leaf-bare began to sprinkle down on them.
Foxleap prodded a silver she-kit with his paw and said, "This one looks like a perfect Moonkit."
Ivypool nodded her agreement and looked at the brown tabby tom, "That one looks like a Treekit to me."
A white she-kit with silver flecks mewled in her sleep and rolled onto Treekit. "That kit should be named Cloudkit, after my mother, Ferncloud and your grandfather Cloudtail," Foxleap said.
Ivypool purred and licked her mate's shoulder, "Yes, she looks like a mixture of both of them."
Foxleap looked at the last kit, a red she-kit that had black paws, white chest fur, and a white tail tip. "What about this one?"
"I thought we could name her Foxkit, after you."
Foxleap licked Ivypool between the ears and murmered, "Whatever you want, my dear flower."
Ivypool relaxed against him, curling her tail around her kits and she quickly fell asleep.
Early at dawn, the next morning, Ivypool woke in her nest in the nursery, her kits by her side. She prodded them each with her nose, but when she poked Foxkit, a cold touch met her nose. Ivypool's blood froze. "Oh no!" she murmered.
I should fetch Jayfeather! she thought instantly, but she vetoed it. She didn't want to wake her denmates. Instead she prodded Leafpool, who was in the nest next to her, with a shaky paw.
Leafpool lifted her head and groggily looked at Ivypool, "What is it?"
Ivypool picked up Foxkit and put her beside Leafpool. "She's so cold," Ivypool hissed.
Leafpool felt the kit all over then asked in a whisper, "What happened last night that could have caused this?"
"Foxleap and I were laying outside the den last night around moonhigh naming our kits. I fell asleep right there. Foxleap must have carried me in first and Foxkit last," Ivypool started explaining.
"It's likely she died of the cold, but there's nothing we can do about her now."
Ivypool wanted to wail in distress. "Don't tell Foxleap or anybody about this." she pleaded.
Leafpool sighed and nodded, "I've kept too many secrets in my life, but okay, Foxkit's death will be our secret." Then she tucked her nose under her tail and fell asleep once more.
Ivypool picked Foxkit up again and silently picked her way out of the den and out of the camp. She buried Foxkit under a bramble bush by the lake and sat crying for what seemed like moons. What will I tell Foxleap! she thought in despair. Then, she scented something. It was a fox, she realized. She could tell by the scent it was a fox kit and that it was a she-fox, too.
She followed the scent into the clearing next to the Sky Oak and she saw it, with the same markings as Foxkit, sitting next to the tree's trunk crying for it's mother. That's when she saw the fox kit's mother and littermates, dead near the bushes.
Ivypool felt a rush of relief, Thank StarClan!
She picked up the fox kit gently and carried her to the lake where she washed it in the cold water.Then she licked it's fur the other way to warm her.
"Hello,Foxkit," she mewed gently. Ivpool picked Foxkit up and rushed back to camp and into her nest with her other three kits. Leafpool watched as Ivypool settled her new "kit" in with it's "littermates".
"A fox kit?" Leafpool mewed incredulously, eyes wide.
"How did you know?" Ivypool asked, shocked, "I thought I washed all the fox scent off of her!"
"You didn't revive Foxkit," Leafpool pointed out,"But don't worry. Your secret is safe with me."
Ivypool looked out of the den into the dawn sky.
Precious Foxkit, walk safely in the sky. And just please know I'm so sorry.
Foxkit bounded out of the nursery with Treekit, Moonkit, and Cloudkit.
"What should we do first?" Treekit asked his littermates.
"We could go listen to the elders' stories," Moonkit suggested.
Cloudkit nodded then looked back down at her paws.
Foxkit bounced up and down on her toes. "Elders! Elders! Elders!" she and Moonkit chanted.
Cloudkit said nothing, just bounced her paw to the beat.
Treekit turned toward the elders' den and mewed, "Elders it is!"
The four kits scampered toward the elders' den where Thornclaw and Brackenfur were laying outside, sharing tounges.
"Hello, youngsters." Brackenfur said.
"Hi Brackenfur," Foxkit mewed.
"You here for some stories?" Thornclaw asked.
"Yes, we are!" Treekit bounced up and down with excitement.
Brackenfur purred and Thornclaw gave them an amused glance. "Go get the other kits, then come in," Brackenfur said.
"Yes, a kit could freeze to death out here," Thornclaw commented.
Foxkit saw Ivypool, who was walking over with a piece of fresh-kill, stiffen at Thornclaw's words. She ignored it and bounded after her littermates back to the nursery. Leafpool's kits were playing hide and seek with Squirrelflight's kits. One of Dovewing's kits strode over to greet them.
"Hi Treekit!" Scorchkit meowed, bumping heads gently with Treekit. Scorchkit turned to the three she-kits. "Hello, she-kits," he said more formally.
Cloudkit acknowledged him with a nod. Foxkit and Moonkit both mewed a greeting to him.
"Scorchkit, go get the other kits," Treekit ordered, "The elders are going to tell us some stories."
Scorchkit's amber eyes lit up, then he bounded away yowling to his sisters, Rainkit and Ashkit.
Foxkit ran over to Ravenkit, one of Leafpool's kits and meowed excitedly, "Ravenkit, gather up your littermates. The elders are going to tell us some stories!"
Ravenkit ran over to Sorrelkit babbling excitedly. Foxkit padded over to the nursery entrance where Cloudkit and Moonkit were waiting with Cinderheart's kits and Cherryleaf's kits.
Treekit, Dovewing's, Squirrelflight's, and Leafpool's kits bounded over to them. "Let's go!" Ravenkit squeaked, "Last one to the elders' den is crowfood!"
Foxkit yowled in excitement and started pushing her way past her denmates, running as fast as she could to the elder's den. Tigerkit got there first and the other kits skidded to a halt after him. Cloudkit, however was walking over to the elders' den, her head and tail high.
The small kits filed in to see all the elders, Graystripe, Sandstorm, Cloudtail, Dustpelt, Brightheart, Thornclaw, and Brackenfur.
Graystripe let out a small purr at Foxkit, "There goes your grandkit, Dustpelt. She looks more and more like a fox every day. It must run in your side of the family, Dustpelt."
Dustpelt's fur bristled with fake hostility, "What makes you say that?"
"First there was your mother Robinwing, whose coat was similar to yours." Graystripe began. Foxkit and the others listened intently to the elders.
"Then you, and Sandstorm, started acting like a fox-heart to me, Firestar, and Ravenpaw."
Foxkit's jaw dropped, "You were close to Firestar? Wow!"
Dustpelt's mouth gaped wide as Sandstorm purred, "I can't believe I was ever that harsh to my mate."
Dustpelt looked at Sandstorm, "We could have had kits."
Sandstorm snorted, "I loved Firestar!"
"After the battle both Firestar and Ferncloud were dead. We could have had kits then," Dustpelt said.
Sandstorm rolled her eyes and turned to Foxkit and the others, "He's always wanted me as a mate."
Dustpelt ignored this and started washing his ears.
"Who is this Ravenpaw cat? We have the same name!" Ravenkit asked.
Graystripe was still meowing, "And your son, Foxleap, looks like a fox and now that's carried into Foxkit."
Dustpelt hissed although Foxkit could see his eyes glimmer with amusement, "I can't believe you would call me a fox-heart, kittypet friend!"
Cloudtail spoke up, "Hey, I will take offense in that!"
Cloudkit looked up at Cloudtail with gleaming eyes, "Cloudtail, you were a kittypet?"
Cloudtail nodded, "Yes, I was, and so was Firestar."
Foxkit's eyes grew wide, "Firestar was a kittypet!"
"I was the first Clan cat Firestar had ever met," Graystripe meowed, "Bluestar took him in and called him Firepaw. Then he became Fireheart and he uncovered Tigerstar's plan to kill Bluestar. He saved her and he became deputy, then Firestar."
The kits' fur bristled at the mention of Tigerstar.
Dustpelt said with an aged voice, "I used to look up to Tigerstar until he betrayed the Clan."
Foxkit bristled, "So, I'm related to a Tigerstar friend?"
Cloudtail decided to change the subject, "Did I ever tell you kits about the time I was captured by twolegs?"
"No," Scorchkit piped up.
Cloudtail launched into a story, "When I was the young and foolish Cloudpaw, I didn't always follow the warrior code and I didn't believe in StarClan."
Foxkit heard some of the other kits gasp.
"Don't worry, I do now. After the Great Battle, who wouldn't," Cloudtail reassured the kits, "Anyway, I figured if I took food from the twolegs, there would be more prey for the Clan, so day after day I visited the twolegs and they fed me. Then one day, the twolegs grabbed me and took me with them. I didn't want to leave the Clan, but I couldn't escape. So I sat there day after day, missing Brightpaw and Clan life." Cloudtail quickly whisked his tail along Brightheart's scarred cheek, "Then Fireheart, Ravenpaw, and Sandstorm came to rescue me. After that, I never took food from the twolegs again."
Sandstorm looked at Ravenkit and said, "Ravenpaw was Tigerstar's apprentice when he was a warrior in ThunderClan. Tigerstar tried to kill him because he knew Tigerstar killed Redtail, Bluestar's deputy. Graystripe and Firestar took him to live with a loner to keep him safe."
Foxkit couldn't help but admire all the courage Firestar showed in his life, "It sounds like Firestar was a big hero."
"Yes, he was." Brightheart meowed, "He saved all the Clans in the Great Battle."
"Tell us about the Great Battle!" Morningkit yowled.
"Before the battle, the Dark Forest recruited cats from the Clans and trained them," Graystripe said.
"Like who?" Stormkit asked.
"For instance, Breezepelt, your half-brother," Dustpelt said to the light gray kit.
Stormkit widened her blue eyes and Foxkit turned to see Sorrelkit's and Ravenkit's reaction. Their eyes were wide, too.
The elders exchanged amused glances and Sandstorm comforted them, "You won't be anything like that piece of crowfood."
"Many cat's died, from all Clans, including StarClan and the Dark Forest, like Spottedleaf," Sandstorm said.
"Who is Spottedleaf?" Leopardkit asked.
"Spottedleaf was ThunderClan's medicine cat when Firestar joined the Clan. And Firestar loved her very much." Sandstorm said, her eyes glistening sadly, "She died before Firestar was made a warrior then she died again saving me."
"Then Firestar killed Tigerstar again and the battle was won, but Firestar died from his wounds and a burning tree," Graystripe mewed.
Foxkit looked at her paws trying to block out the pained look that entered the elders' eyes when they talked about Firestar.
The rustle at the entrance to the den made her look up. A ginger tom was standing there with a thrush and a rabbit dangling from his jaws.
"Hello Sandstorm," the tom mewed.
"Hello Rushpaw," Sandstorm purred.
"I brought this thrush and rabbit for you all to share," Rushpaw said setting the fresh-kill down.
"Thank you, Rushpaw," Dustpelt nodded.
Rushpaw turned and padded out of the den, his ginger coat shining.
"I see all of his father in him," Sandstorm mewed, her green eyes glistening.
"Is it true Crowfeather was a WindClan cat?" Moonkit asked.
Why would any cat just leave their Clan? Foxkit wondered.
She decided to ask, "Why did he leave WindClan?"
Sandstorm answered her question, "He had nothing left for himself there. He fell in love with Feathertail of RiverClan and Leafpool, therefore betraying WindClan. After that he took Nightcloud as a mate and had a son with her. This son was Breezepelt, who is evil. As it turned out, in WindClan he had a mate he didn't love like he did other cats and a son who fought alongside the Dark Forest, but in ThunderClan there was the she-cat he had loved and his two sons."
"I heard that story from Leafpool!" Sorrelkit squeaked.
"His other sons are Lionblaze and Jayfeather, right?" Treekit asked.
"Right," Sandstorm purred, "You kits are so smart."
"He also had a daughter named Hollyleaf, but she died in the Great Battle," Ravenkit mewed to his denmates.
Hollykit jumped up and down, "Is that why Lionblaze named me Hollykit?"
"Yes, it is," a deep mew sounded from behind the kits. Foxkit turned to see Lionblaze, the Clan deputy, and Cinderheart.
Hollykit, Honeykit, Leopardkit, and Sunkit bounded over to their mother and father. Cinderheart nuzzled them purring.
"The evening patrol has returned. It's time to leave the elders in peace," Lionblaze mewed to his kits.
Honeykit and Leopardkit groaned but Hollykit and Sunkit nodded their heads in understanding.
"And you need to get some rest," Cinderheart purred, "Bramblestar told us that you become apprentices tomorrow."
Hollykit yowled in excitement and the other kits bounced on their toes, equally excited. Foxkit's eyes widened; she hadn't realized Cinderheart's kits were six moons yet.
"Isn't this exciting!" Treekit hissed in her ear, "This is going to be the first ceremony we've seen since we were born!"
Sandstorm mewed to the rest of the kits, "You better get going because I need to take a rest."
"Okay, good-bye Sandstorm." Foxkit mewed. Then the kits started filing out of the elders' den and back to the nursery. Scorchkit, Rainkit, and Ashkit padded over to Dovewing, who was tucking into a chaffinch.
Ivypool purred at her Foxkit and her littermates and said, "Go find something yummy for us on the fresh-kill pile, then come back here and get some rest. Foxleap and I are going hunting so Dovewing will look after you."
The moonlight filtered through the entrance of the den. Foxkit laid by her littermates and Dovewing's kits, watching for Ivypool. Ivypool padded silently back into the den and gave her sister a lick on the shoulder.
"Thanks for watching them," she whispered and she took her kits back to her nest.
Something was nagging at Foxkit. Something Graystripe and Dustpelt were talking about earlier. She prodded Ivypool with a tiny paw. "Ivypool, what is a fox-heart?"
Ivypool stiffened then replied, "A fox-heart is an insult. When a cat is called a fox-heart it means..." she searched for the right words, "it means the cat is being snide or disrespectful, like foxes."
Foxkit felt anger swelling inside of her, but she calmed the rage storm inside quickly with a bit of logic.
Why do you feel anger because the cats insult foxes like that? It's not natural. Your name may be Foxkit but foxes are still enemies to all cats of all Clans.
With that her breathing slowed and she fell asleep.
Foxkit blinked her eyes open and looked at the inside of the den, empty of all cats except for Ivpool, Moonkit, Cloudkit, Treekit, and herself.
The ceremony must have started! Foxkit realized. She jumped onto Treekit and Moonkit shouting, "Wake up!"
Cloudkit shot onto her paws, startled, her fur bristling with fear and fury.
Treekit groaned and rolled over, "Go to the.." he sat up abruptly, eyes wide. "The ceremony! Let's go!" he yowled.
Moonkit, Treekit, Foxkit, and Cloudkit made their way out of the nursery with a very sleepy-looking Ivypool trailing behind.
"And it is my pleasure to announce a four new apprentices today!" Bramblestar meowed from the Highledge. He beckoned Cinderheart's kits foreward with his tail. Leopardkit bounded toward the Highledge excitedly with her littermates strutting behind her, their heads high. Cinderheart puffed out her chest in pride as the climbed up the Highledge.
"From this day foreward, until she has earned her warrior name, Leopardkit will now be called Leopardpaw. Lilyflower, you are a young warrior and Blossomfall was your mentor. I hope you pass on your bravery and determination to Leopardpaw."
Leopardpaw scampered down from the Highledge and touched noses with Lilyflower quickly, excitement sparkling in her blue eyes.
"From this day foreward, until she has earned her warrior name, Sunkit will be called Sunpaw. Spiderleg, you will mentor her. Mousefur was your mentor many, many moons ago, even before the Great Journey and she taught you many great skill. I hope you pass these skills to Sunpaw."
Sunkit, like her sister, climbed down from the Highledge and stretched her head to touch her nose to Spiderleg's.
"From this day foreward, until she has earned her warrior name, Hollykit will be called Hollypaw. Rosepetal, Squirrelflight was your mentor, and I hope you will pass down your courage and great skills to Hollypaw."
Hollypaw padded over to Rosepetal and touched noses with her new mentor.
"And from this day foreward, until she has earned her warrior name, Honeykit will now be called Honeypaw. Because there are many apprentices and so little leftover warriors to mentor apprentices, I will mentor Honeypaw."
"Leopardpaw! Sunpaw! Hollypaw! Honeypaw! Leopardpaw! Sunpaw! Hollypaw! Honeypaw!" the Clan chanted.
Honeypaw timidly touched her nose to the dark tabby's nose. Lioblaze looked at his kits, pride filling his amber eyes.
Bramblestar went on, "Training will start immediately and Cinderheart will resume her warrior duties, but I have a few more ceremonies to perform. Berrynose, Crowfeather, Bumblestripe. Are Amberpaw, Dewpaw, and Snowpaw ready to become warriors?"
Amberpaw, Snowpaw, and Dewpaw looked at each other excitedly.
Bumblestripe and Crowfeather nodded then Berrynose stepped foreward and mewed, "Yes, Bramblestar. They are all ready to be warriors."
The three apprentices started climbing up the Highledge as Bramblestar yowled, "I, Bramblestar, leader of ThunderClan, look down on these three apprentices. They have trained hard and have learned the ways of the warrior code and I will give them their warrior names. Amberpaw, Dewpaw, and Snowpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and protect the Clan with your life, if necessary?"
"I do," Amberpaw meowed boldly.
"I do," Dewpaw shuffled his forepaws.
"I do," Snowpaw choked out the words.
"Then by the powers of StarClan, Amberpaw, you will now be called Amberglow. StarClan honors your courage and your skills in battle and we welcome you as a full warrior of ThunderClan.
Amberglow's amber eyes glowed with pride and excitement as she gave Bramblestar's shoulder a respectful lick. Brightheart, who was sitting next to Foxkit, purred, "Just like her namesake."
"Dewpaw, you will now be called Dewdrop. StarClan honors your bravery and resourcefulness in hard times and we welcome you as a full warrior of ThunderClan."
Dewdrop licked Bramblestar's shoulder and followed his sister off of the Highledge.
"Snowpaw, you will now be called Snowfall. StarClan honors your hunting skills and your bravery in battle and we welcome you as a full warrior of ThunderClan."
"Amberglow! Dewdrop! Snowfall! Amberglow! Dewdrop! Snowfall!" This time, Foxkit joined the chant.
"Lionblaze will organize the patrols," Bramblestar finished. He hopped down from the Highledge and beckoned Honeypaw with his tail.
Foxkit and her littermates edged closer to Lionblaze while Sorreltail joined Brackenfur, watching their kits.
Lionblaze started sorting patrols, "Icecloud, Bumblestripe, Snowfall, and Seedstripe, you patrol the borders. Crowfeather, why don't you lead the sunhigh patrol. Take whoever you wish. I will take the evening patrol with Rosepetal, Hollypaw, and Foxleap. Amberglow, Dewdrop, Poppyfrost, and Mousewhisker you go hunting along the ShadowClan border. Cinderheart, Rushpaw, and I will hunt along the WindClan border."
The cats started looking for the cats in their patrol and made their way out of the camp.
Lionblaze looked at the remaining cats, "Spiderleg, Lilyflower, why don't you go train with Sunpaw and Leopardpaw. Blackpaw, why don't you change the bedding in the nursery and elders' den. I'm sure you could get some of the kits to help you."
Lionblaze padded over to Cinderheart with Rushpaw on his heels. Blackpaw padded over to Foxkit and her littermates.
"Will you guys come change the moss with me?" Blackpaw meowed.
"Sure," Foxkit said before any of her littermates could object.
Blackpaw padded over to Jayfeather's den.
"Don't bother me until my brother has been made leader!" Jayfeather grumbled from the back of his den, prodding the moss toward Blackpaw and the four kits with a claw.
"Ok, Jayfeather." Blackpaw said. To Foxkit, he said under his breath, "Grumpy old cat, my nephew is."
"He's not that old," Cloudkit said quietly, "And you should respect the medicine cat."
Blackpaw purred affectionately, "Yes, maybe I should." Cloudkit's eyes shone.
Foxkit punced on the moss and growled. She was going to be the best warrior the Clans had ever seen!
Treekit rolled his eyes and snorted, "Foxkit, stop playing in the moss like a fox-brain!"
There it was again! That surge of fury bubbling up inside of her like fire!
Disgusted, she growled at herself, Foxes are enemies to ALL cats! Loners, kittypets, and Clan!
Almost automatically, she threw a withering glance back at her brother and stalked off.
Foxkit stirred and growled in her sleep as a paw poked her. She sat up and saw Flamekit, one of Cherryleaf's kits, and immediately started grooming herself. Over the past two moons, she had developed a huge crush on the ginger tom and wanted to impress him.
"What is it, Flamekit?" she asked in a whisper.
"I want to go out of camp," the ginger kit whispered back, easing closer to Foxkit.
Foxkit's eyes widened, "Why?"
"Tigerpaw was boasting about how he and Leopardpaw and his mentor Toadstep went hunting outside the abandoned twoleg nest as a treat for his good training today."
"So, you want to go?"
The two kits snuck out of the nursery and out through the dirtplace.
Flamekit and Foxkit stared at the vast forest beyond them and Foxkit shivered with fear and cold.
"I will protect you," Flamekit whispered, pressing his flank against her side.
Foxkit's heart quickened, then she relaxed.
The two kits set out through the vast forest and froze when they heard voices. They hid in the bushes.
Tigerpaw and a she cat from another Clan stalked through the bushes apparently doing some moonhigh hunting. The she-cat's amber eyes were glowing in the moonlight and the two kits saw... love.....glowing ferociously in her eyes. Tigerpaw's amber eyes revealed the same.
Foxkit's jaw dropped and Flamekit breathed, "They're in love!"
Tigerpaw turned suddenly, his eyes flashing, "Someone is here!"
Foxkit's blood ran cold. If they were to be discovered, they would get in trouble and they might be delayed their apprentice ceremonies!
Then, Flamekit made quite a racket stomping out of the bushes to reveal himself, allowing Foxkit to run to the abandoned twoleg nest to safety.
There Foxkit waited for what seemed like moons when Flamekit walked in.
"I'm sorry, Flamekit," she sighed, "What kind of trouble are you in?"
"It's quite alright. I am not in trouble. We made a compromise." Flamekit purred, "I am quite the master of manipulation."
He manipulates my heart, too! Foxkit thought, He will probably pad after some other she cat like Honeypaw.
"Well, what happened?" Foxkit asked.
"In exchange for keeping my being out here, I had to keep Tigerpaw's little crush a secret."
Foxkit sighed with relief. Then, she and Flamekit scrambled back to camp and into their nests in the nursery.
Morning came a bit too early for the remaining litters in the nursery. Foxkit stirred sleepily and shook the sleep from her eyes. Treekit, Cloudkit, and Moonkit were already outside with Cherryleaf's other kit, Goldenkit.
Foxkit prodded Flamekit, who turned over and yawned.
They padded outside to where the whole Clan had gathered around a horde of cats from far away. They were the age of senior warriors if not older.
Lionblaze padded out in front of the crowd and meowed, "Who are you? And why are you here?"
A black tom with a white tail tip padded out front and meowed, "I am Ravenpaw, one of Firepaw's closest friends."
A black and white tom came to stand with the first cat. "And I am Barley, a friend of both Bluestar and Firestar."
A ginger she-cat came out front, "I am Princess, Firestar's sister and Cloudtail's mother."
Another black and white tom padded to the front, "And I am Smudge, one of Firestar's old friends."
The cats of ThunderClan's eyes were wide with shock, then Bramblestar came out front and meowed, "Come with me."
Bramblestar beckoned for the kin of Firestar that was in ThunderClan and the loners to come into his den and they all soon got settled.
Princess looked around the den. "Is Firestar out?" she asked.
"No," Bramblestar murmured, "Firestar is..." he choked on the last word, "dead." He and the Clan cats in the den bowed their heads in respectful silence.
Princess let out a cry of mourning, Barley gasped, Smudge bowed his head, and Ravenpaw let out a mournful, "No!"
"He hunts with StarClan now, but these are his kin."
"Cloudtail, his nephew." Cloudtail stepped forward, seeming like he was young again, with his mate, Brightheart. Princess rushed up and touched noses with her son.
"I've missed you so much," she murmured.
"Cloudtail's and Brightheart's kits, Firestar's grand nieces and nephews, Whitewing, Ambergaze, Dewdrop, and Snowfall."
The four warriors stepped forward and dipped their heads to the newcomers, Birchfall beside Whitewing. Princess's eyes brimmed with pride as she stared at her grandkits.
Firestar's great-grand neices, Whitewing's and Birchfall's kits, Dovewing and Ivypool."
Foxkit watched as her mother and aunt stepped up and dipped their heads alongside Bumblestripe and Foxleap.
"Firestar's great, great-grand nieces and nephew, Dovewing's and Bumblestripe's kits, Scorchkit, Ashkit, and Rainkit, who are becoming apprentices today."
Scorchkit, Ashkit, and Rainkit padded forward and dipped their heads.
"Firestar's great, great-grand nieces and nephew, Ivypool's and Foxleap's kits, Treekit, Moonkit, Cloudkit, and Foxkit."
Foxkit and her littermates stepped forward and dipped their heads.
Princess let out a purr, "All of these are my kin!"
"Firestar's and Sandstorm's daughters and sons, Squirrelflight, Leafpool, Duskpaw, Rushpaw, and Blackpaw."
Squirrelflight, Leafpool, Duskpaw, Rushpaw, and Blackpaw stepped up and dipped their heads. Crowfeather dipped his head beside Leafpool and Bramblestar also dipped his head.
The loners murmured at how much Rushpaw looked like Firestar.
"Firestar's grandkits, the kits of Leafpool and Crowfeather, Lionblaze, Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, Ravenpaw, Stormpaw, and Sorrelpaw. Hollyleaf is no longer with us. She died the death of a warrior during the great battle."
The cats bowed their heads in silence for Hollyleaf as Jayfeather, Lionblaze, Ravenpaw, Stormpaw, and Sorrelpaw stepped up and dipped their heads. Cinderheart stepped up and did the same beside Lionblaze
"Firestar's grandkits, the kits of me and Squirrelflight, Tigerpaw and Morningpaw."
Tigerpaw and Morningpaw padded forward and dipped their heads.
"Firestar's great grandkits, Lionblaze's and Cinderheart's kits, Honeypaw, Leopardpaw, and Sunpaw."
Honeypaw, Leopardpaw, and Sunpaw stepped forward and dipped their heads.
Ravenpaw, the loner, nodded and meowed, "We would like to join your Clan. Princess, Barley, and Smudge all want to be elders, but I want to have the warriorhood I never had."
Bramblestar nodded and he leaped onto the Highledge and called a meeting.
"Cats of ThunderClan, these four loners joined the Clan to serve as elders and warriors and I will now present them with proper Clan names. Princess, from this day forward you will now be an elder known as Flowerpelt. Smudge from this day forward, you will now be known as an elder called Sootstreak. Barley from this day foreward, you will be an elder named Barleystalk. And Ravenpaw, you will now be known as Ravenfeather. StarClan honors your courage and determination for leaving your homes and traveling all the way here and we welcome you as full members of ThunderClan."
"Flowerpelt! Sootstreak! Barleystalk! Ravenfeather!" the Clan chanted.
Bramblestar continued, "And I have to make three new warriors and three new apprentices today. Rushpaw, Duskpaw, Blackpaw, come forward."
"From this day forward, Rushpaw will now be known as Rushspirit. StarClan honors his courage and bravery and we welcome him as a full member of ThunderClan."
"From this day forward, Duskpaw will now be known as Duskfall. StarClan honors her skill and bravery and we welcome her as a full warrior of ThunderClan."
"From this day forward, Blackpaw will now be known as Blackthorn. StarClan honors his skill and patience and we welcome his as a full member of ThunderClan."
"And, from this day forward until they have earned their warrior names, Scorchkit, Ashkit, and Rainkit will now be known as Scorchpaw, Rainpaw, and Ashpaw. Their mentors will be Ravenfeather, Crowfeather, and Lionblaze."
"Rushspirit! Duskfall! Blackthorn! Scorchpaw! Ashpaw! Rainpaw!" the Clan chanted.
I can't wait until I become an apprentice! Foxkit thought with excitement. Her eyes gleamed as she thought, Only a moon or so away!
Foxpaw growled with frustration as the mouse skittered away from her paws. It was a half-moon into her apprenticeship and she was becoming more and more of an outcast everyday. Most of the cats were kind, but some of the apprentices teased her because she looked funny and because someone was spreading rumors that she was meeting a fox and giving it prey.
The anger bubbled up inside her once more. Why can't foxes have prey? And why accuse me?
"Bad day?" a soft voice meowed. Foxpaw turned and Flamepaw padded out with a thrush in his jaws.
Foxpaw looked at her paws, growing warm with embarassment, "Yeah."
"Don't worry. Look." Flamepaw meowed pointing with his tail to a starling crashing thunderously in a tree with a broken wing.
The bird fell from the tree and Foxpaw, seeing an easy catch, pounced and killed it swiftly.
Flamepaw and Foxpaw padded back to camp and set their catches on the fresh-kill pile. Jayfeather padded up took one sniff at the starling and yowled, "It is as StarClan have warned me! There is a weakness in the Clan that will draw the foxes to kill us off!"
The Clan gasped in horror and Blossomfall peered from the nursery with her mate, Toadstep, Briarlight yowled, "I have recieved this warning, too!"
Flamepaw stepped up and meowed, "And what is wrong with Foxpaw's prey?"
"It was making thunderous noise with its wing to attract Foxpaw, right? It is the prophecy."
Bramblestar nodded at Jayfeather and meowed, "Thank you, Jayfeather. We will continue on, but we will get ready."
"Lionblaze, get a few cats to fortify the walls and plan other defenses. Get others to think of escape routes and tactics."
"Yes, Bramblestar," Lionblaze nodded. He started shouting orders and Foxpaw and Flamepaw were ordered to fortify the entrance.
Flamepaw and Foxpaw made their way to the wall and started to strengthen it.
Foxpaw went out into the forest to gather bramble tendrils and she was suddenly aware of a fox scent. She started following it.
That fox is going to be sorry it messed with me! Foxpaw thought. Then she thought, Poor fox, shouldn't it have a place to go, too?
It was that fiery anger again. She pushed it aside, boggled on why the fox scent was strong wherever she went.
She followed it into the lake where it faded when she was mostly submerged with water. Then when she came out, she couldn't smell it anymore.
Puzzled she went back into the forest.
Foxpaw put her fresh-kill on the fresh-kill pile. It was five moons into her training and she was very excited for that moon to pass. She had turned into a fine hunter and fighter, but more of the Clan had ignored her, except for Flamepaw and her littermates that is.
The camp had been very nicely fortified and there were so many new warriors in the Clan. Lots of kits, too.
Foxpaw sat next to her littermates beside the apprentice den and she sighed.
"What's wrong, Foxpaw?" Treepaw asked.
"Why doesn't anyone like me?"
"They're jealous!" Moonpaw meowed, "You have prettier fur than I do, that's for sure."
Cloudpaw nodded her agreement.
Then, Treepaw put in, "How are things with Flamepaw?"
Foxpaw rolled her eyes as her brother snickered good-humoredly.
"He doesn't like me!" Foxpaw exclaimed.
"Are you kidding?" Moonpaw meowed, "Foxpaw, Flamepaw adores you! I have seen the look in his eyes whenever he looks at you or talks to you or hears about your skill and how he always rushes to your defense."
"Yes," Cloudpaw meowed quietly.
Foxpaw's eyes glimmered with disbelief, Does he really like me? Maybe I should ask. Or tell him my feelings. That's it! Tonight, I will tell him.
"Flamepaw!" Foxpaw whispered.
Flamepaw stirred in his sleep and he opened his amber eyes and meowed, "What is it, Foxpaw."
"Come with me," she whispered.
Foxpaw and Flamepaw snuck out of camp through the dirtplace tunnel and she was reminded of their escapade when they were young kits. Finally they got to the lake, where the stars and the half-moon glimmered in its reflection.
"Ummm... Flamepaw?" Foxpaw meowed, "I- I have had a crush on you since we were kits and..." she broke off.
"I love you, Flamepaw. I really do."
Flamepaw smiled and he pressed his nose to her ear, "I love you, too, Foxpaw. And as soon as we become warriors, we will be mates, no matter what anycat says."
Foxpaw's pelt warmed with pleasure and they stayed like that for a long time, under the moon and stars.
Then they heard a fearful cry from the camp.
Then another voice, "And Ivypool is kitting!"
Foxpaw and Flamepaw ran back to camp as fast as they could.
Foxpaw and Flamepaw let out a war cry as one and dove into the hollow where foxes had invaded the camp and were tearing the dens apart.
Tigerfury and Bramblestar were tangling with a few foxes. Foxleap was shredding any fox that was too close to the nursery and everywhere, fighting cats and foxes were shreiking. Slumped bodies of cats and foxes alike. Her stomach churned as she recognized Dustpelt, Thornclaw, and Goldenpaw among the dead.
Flamepaw let out a yowl and went to avenge his dead sister. Foxpaw darted off in the direction of the nursery to help Foxleap.
"Come on! You can do it, Ivypool!" Briarlight yowled from inside the nursery.
After a few minutes, little mewls sounded from the nursery and then the fighting stopped after a fox and Bramblestar, at the same time, shouted "Stop!"
Everyone in the clearing froze, foxes and cats.
Bramblestar confronted the lead fox, "How do you speak cat?"
"I picked it up," the fox leader growled, "But more importantly, I came for my daughter!"
"We have no foxes in this Clan!" Bramblestar hissed.
The leader fox ignored Bramblestar and growled, "Her!" With realization, Foxpaw saw that he was pointing at her.
"No!" Ivypool yowled, crashing out of the nursery.
Bramblestar turned to Ivypool, "What do you know about this?"
Ivypool swallowed and choked, "On the night my kits were born, Foxkit died and... nobody knew except for Leafpool. I went out and found an orphaned fox kit and I raised her as my own." She turned to her mate, "Foxleap, I'm so sorry."
Foxleap nodded and hung his head.
Meanwhile Foxpaw's world was spinning, "No!"
The Clan was silent and Moonpaw, Cloudpaw, Treepaw, and Flamepaw were all staring at Foxpaw, their eyes wide with shock and fury.
"I knew she was a fox!" Graystripe yowled triumphantly.
"The prophecy came true!" Jayfeather yowled.
"No!" she yowled at her litttermates and her crush, "I didn't know."
Treepaw glared at her, "No, Foxpaw! Because of you, Ivypool could have died. We all could have died!"
Moonpaw stepped away from Foxpaw and hid her face. Cloudpaw hung her head low.
Foxpaw then turned to Flamepaw, "Flamepaw, please."
Flamepaw shook his head, "No, Foxpaw. My sister died because you attracted the foxes here and... and I cannot be mates with a fox!" Even though he said such hurtful words, there was love and sadness in his eyes and also regret.
Flamepaw turned away and Foxpaw started sobbing.
Ivypool and Foxleap padded up to the fox they had called their daughter and murmured, "I'm so sorry."
Bramblestar hung his head, "The choice is Foxpaw's. She can stay, even though she has nobody anymore or she can go live with her fox father."
"Foxpaw, you will be given your warrior name before you choose. You will be Foxspirit."
Flamepaw's eyes gave away he was chanting it in his head and Rushspirit gave her a look of compassion.
"Flamepaw is now Flamespirit, because his loss is greater than any here."
"Flamespirit! Flamespirit! Flamespirit!" Foxspirit yowled to the silence, "I love you, Flamespirit, don't ever forget that, because, there is nobody here that wants me now and, I should leave before more lives are lost."
Bramblestar nodded approvingly at why she made her choice, "Very well, Foxspirit. You shall leave with your fox father. You will be remembered as the cat we thought you were and you will be missed." He glanced at Flamespirit, "Though it may not be too obvious."
Ivypool brought a reddish brown kit from the nursery, one of her new kits and set it down. "I name this kit Foxkit after Foxleap, the Foxkit we lost, and the Foxspirit that was acting as our daughter. Hopefully she will fill the space in Flamespirit's life as well as my other kits's lives."
Foxspirit's eyes brimmed with tears and she touched noses with all the cats she once loved, still loved, then with one last glance she walked out of camp beside her fox father.
I will not forget you, Flamespirit. I will not forget any of you, ThunderClan. No matter what I am, I am part of ThunderClan.